So many parties, barbecues, dinners, tastings and toasts! And the white tent events, oy! Food, food, food, wine, booze and more food. I’m about to be very disciplined and just choose one dish from each course of a meal that I had in July that really stood out.
Cocktail: Union Cantina’s blood orange margarita at Dan’s GrillHampton Presented by New York Prime Beef was spot-on. I mean, they had me at “blood orange.” Though margaritas can go horribly wrong, thankfully this one went terribly right. Life in the Hamptons is rimmed with salt!
Appetizer: I adore that Starr Boggs restaurant fills a big, gracious house in Westhampton Beach with generous portions of great food. Is there anything better than dinner there, followed by a show at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center? Not if you start off with the Grilled Shinnecock Calamari. The dish’s fresh-as-can-be squid in its spicy dressing with roasted peppers, grilled red onions, mesclun, orange supremes and shaved fennel is among the best calamari in the world, bar none. (And the nostalgic fabu of orange supremes cracks me up every time.)
Main: Last Wednesday when we were trying to shoot the cover for my upcoming cookbook (The Hamptons Kitchen) with Hillary Davis, I sent the following message to our photographer Barbara Lassen about dinner at my house after the shoot:
“I failed to COOK anything, but can whip up the produce from the shoot!”
Always the ultimate, cool professional, Barbara replied:
“I made lemon-garlic chicken on the BBQ, grilled asparagus and tomatoes, and spinach Florentine stuffed mushrooms. We can eat it hot or cold!”
Best. Chicken and Photographer. Ever.
Side dish: Oreya’s panisse. The little wonders they doled out at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks Presented by Farrell Building Company—with heirloom tomato salad, Meyer lemon aioli, kale gremolata and olive oil were to die for. I didn’t get in line repeatedly for more only because I was wearing my official nametag.
Dessert took the cake!
When 14 chefs and hundreds of foodies gathered to celebrate Claudia Fleming’s contributions to the East End dining scene at the Halyard, outside Greenport, on July 7 at Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork event, it was all about love and dessert.
A James Beard Award winning pastry chef and co-founder of the renowned North Fork Table & Inn, Fleming took the night off and allowed other dessert masters to shine in a post-dinner buffet.
I was particularly taken with the Elderflower Olive Oil Cake with local blueberries and lemon mascarpone crema from Lombardi’s Love Lane Market, which was served by Lauren Lombardi herself. I’ve never been a big fan of olive oil cake—they seemed second rate as compared to buttery confections—until now. I was drawn in, like a bee, by the violas garnishing the dish. The cake was in perfect balance—light but not fluffy, just sweet enough.
Can’t wait to see what Dan’s Corona MonTaco Waterfront Fiesta at Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club brings on Saturday, August 4. Visit DansTasteofSummer.com for all the details. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.
Stacy is currently at work on a Hamptons-centric cookbook with co-author Hillary Davis. Follow Stacy’s informed and opinionated foodie adventures on twitter @hamptonsepicure.